Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University to Recognize Two Distinguished Graduates with Alumni Association Awards

Westfield State University will honor a pair of graduates with Alumni Association Awards at a reception on Saturday, October 14, at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Horace Mann Center. Christopher Scanlon ’72 has been chosen as the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient while Col. Robert Picknally ’56, M’60 will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award.

A Winchester resident, Scanlon has been recognized as one of the top five high school girls’ soccer coaches in the United States. He has a career coaching record of 613-75-79 as his teams have qualified for post-season play each year. His Winchester High girls’ teams have won four Division I state championships and five Eastern Massachusetts titles. His teams have been ranked in the top 20 nationally for the past many years, including the 1990 squad, which peaked with a No. 1 ranking in the country by USA Today. In addition, his 1995 state championship team was ranked third nationally by USA Today.

A 1989 inductee to the state soccer coaches’ Hall of Fame, Scanlon was honored by the National Soccer Coaches of America Association as the 1986 National Coach of the Year and the 1994 New England Coach of the Year. He also earned Coach of the Year accolades from The Boston Globe on four occasions.

The Distinguished Alumnus/a Award is conferred upon Westfield State alumni who have distinguished themselves in professional and/or community service since graduation.

Col. Picknally has generously donated his entire personal presidential library to Westfield State and the Ely Library. He served for 37 years in the Army and Air Force. A past president of the alumni association in one of its early forms, Col. Picknally attends many university programs/events and remains highly connected to the campus and his class. His memories as a member of the “old school” group have enlivened many conversations. He is a resident of East Longmeadow.

The Alumnus/a of the Year Award is given annually to an alumnus/a who has made a significant contribution toward personal, professional, community or philanthropic achievements over the course of a year to two-year period.

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